The Netherlands

King Willem-Alexander holds Princes’ Day speech


By Defensie, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wiki Commons

The third Tuesday of September is traditionally Princes’ Day, the day on which the reigning monarch of the Netherlands addresses a joint session of the Dutch Senate and House of Representatives to give the speech from the throne. The speech sets out the main policy items of the coming parliamentary session.

King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima arrived at the Knight’s Hall in the Glass Coach as the Golden Coach is undergoing renovations. They arrived shortly after the King’s brother, Prince Constantijn and his wife, Princess Laurentien.

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He began his speech by marking the 75th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, saying, “Precisely 75 years ago today, Operation Market Garden began. After years of subjugation and tyranny, hope for a better future literally came down from the heavens, in the form of thousands of Allied paratroopers. Those who, on 17 September 1944, witnessed the skies above Eindhoven, Arnhem and Nijmegen darken with their silhouettes would never forget the sight.” His mother, Princess Beatrix will be accompanied by the Prince of Wales on Saturday to mark the anniversary of Operation Market Garden in Ede, Oosterbeek and Arnhem.

The speech then focused on an expected period of less economic growth, also due to Brexit. The King said, “But the reality is also that over the next few years the Netherlands will enter a period of more moderate growth. Our internationally oriented economy is vulnerable to turbulence on the global market, not least as a consequence of trade conflicts. What’s more, the prospect of Brexit casts a long shadow. This means a ‘profit warning’ is in order, both for the short and the long term, requiring us to think about how the Netherlands will earn its living in the future and remain a country with good public services.”

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After leaving the Knight’s Hall, the royal couples returned to Noordeinde Palace and appeared on the balcony to greet onlookers.

Read the full speech – in English – here.